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Tag: Q&A (71-80 of 101)

Josh Turner Q&A: Country star has faith, several hit songs, and no idea who Rick Astley is


Josh Turner is the youngest male member of the Grand Ole Opry, and why wouldn’t he be? The guy’s sold millions of records and scored two No. 1 country hits (“Your Man” and “Would You Go with Me”), and his baritone could melt paint off a Buick. On the eve of his fourth album, Haywire — whose first single, “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” is on its way to the top of the charts, too — we interrupted Turner’s tour rehearsals to chat, and apparently ask a real stumper of a first question.

Entertainment Weekly: Are you going to be offended if I sometimes think of you as country music’s Rick Astley?
Josh Turner: Country music’s what now?

Country music’s Rick Astley.
I don’t know who that is. [laughs]

You remember Rick Astley!
No, I don’t.

[Lamely sings] “Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down…” He was a pop singer in the 1980s. Are you too young to remember?
I’m not too young, I just didn’t listen to pop music in the ‘80s.

He was this young, good looking guy, but he had this crazy deep voice that sounded like it was coming out of someone else entirely. You remind me of him.
I’ll take it as a compliment. READ FULL STORY

Matt Morris: Justin Timberlake's 'Hallelujah' duet partner talks Haiti telethon and Justin's next move

Justin Timberlake and Matt Morris’ slow, heartfelt cover of Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah” was a definite highlight of Jan. 22’s Hope for Haiti Now telethon. It was also the first time millions of TV viewers met Morris, an old friend of Timberlake’s who recently put out his debut, When Everything Breaks Open, on the pop star’s Tennman Records. We got Morris on the phone to talk about the telethon, his album — and when we can expect new music from his pal Justin.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did your participation in the Hope for Haiti Now telethon come together?
MATT MORRIS: I was in Los Angeles, promoting When Everything Breaks Open, when everything was coming together for the telethon. Justin asked if I would like to sing with him. I said, “Of course, in a heartbeat.”

Had he already picked which song to sing?
No. We brainstormed. He suggested it as an idea. We chewed on that for a minute. I had shot a video of me singing “Help!”, a ballad version of the Beatles song, which I posted last year on my YouTube page. He called me a few days prior and said, “Maybe we should think about performing ‘Help!'” So we took both of those songs to the rehearsal space and played through them. “Hallelujah” just felt right. The arrangement came together quickly and naturally.

It’s a song that’s been memorably covered by many artists.
It is a much-covered song, indeed. It’s a great song for it. It has the classic melody. It cuts to the heart. There have been some epic covers, some simple covers. I’m honored to be on the list of people who got a chance to cover the song, you know?

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U2's the Edge spills details on their new album: The Music Mix Q&A

U2’s the Edge attended last weekend’s Golden Globes ceremony, where the band was up for a Best Original Song award for “Winter,” their contribution to Afghanistan war drama Brothers. (The trophy ended up going to Crazy Heart‘s “The Weary Kind.”) We caught up with the guitarist on the red carpet to get the scoop on U2’s planned follow-up to last year’s No Line on the Horizon. —Interview by Nicholas White

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How’s the new U2 music going?
THE EDGE:
We are working on a lot of new songs. Some of them are really, really happy. We’re convinced that we have something really special. It’s like deciding whether we are going to release the album before the tour starts or leave it for a while, we don’t really know yet. Literally, within a day of getting off the road, Bono and I were working on new songs. On a roll.

Are you incorporating any electronic influences?
We try and keep things moving forward. We are experimenting with a lot of different arrangements, and electronic is one of the things we are playing with. But there are other songs that are very traditional, almost folk. In some ways, that’s the thing we haven’t figured out yet, is where this album is going to end up. We’re having fun with the process.

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'Crazy Heart': T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham talk about the movie's music, Leonard Cohen, and onstage vomiting

One of this awards season’s dark horse contenders is Crazy Heart, the Jeff Bridges-starring tale of a boozy, down-on-his-luck country singer called Bad Blake who lurches—often literally—from one ill-attended show to another.

The music in the movie was supervised by singer-songwriter T Bone Burnett, who previously performed the same task on the Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line and O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Burnett also co-wrote the Golden Globe-nominated Crazy Heart track “The Weary Kind” with rising country-rocker Ryan Bingham, who also appears in the film. After the break, EW chats with the pair about the artists who inspired Bad Blake’s repertoire, the practical advantages of leather pants, and whether Bingham can afford to have Burnett produce his next album.

READ FULL STORY

Roisin Murphy Q&A: The Irish diva talks about her newborn daughter and why she's delaying pulling an album together

These are busy times for Irish electro-pop chanteuse Roisin Murphy. She gave birth to her first child, Clodagh Henwood, not even a month ago, and on January 18th she will release a new single called “Momma’s Place,” which you can hear on her myspace (Geisha-styled artwork and proof of her pregnancy is to the left). Murphy describes the song as an “old school house track,” and it provides just as much moody joy as its recent predecessor, “Orally Fixated.”

Murphy took some time to talk to us while taking a break in the Irish countryside and told us the ways pregnancy has affected her music, how her new single is a bit of a tell-off to her newborn daughter, and the reasons why we might not actually get a new Roisin album this year, as fans have been expecting.

EW: Congratulations on the addition to your family. How is motherhood treating you?

RM: Thank you. Fine. If I could get any sleep in the nighttime or daytime, it would be perfect. But everything in life that’s worth doing throws a challenge at you. It’s hard to say because I’m kind of in a non-real place at the moment: I’m in Ireland, I’m surrounded by my family and it’s not my real everyday life in London. So to know how it’s completely changed me, I guess I’ll have to be settled back in London for a little while. I’m still doing the nightshift, I’m still being the mom, but I’m not in the world of the media, not working, not doing fashion shows and gigs, I’m in the country, in Ireland, so I’m away from all of that. So I’m not in my real, everyday existence. I’m in a transitional stage.

EW: How did the idea of motherhood and being pregnant influence album?

READ FULL STORY

Q&A with Miley Cyrus songwriter Jessi Alexander: 'The Climb' being pulled from Grammy noms is 'devastating'

Songwriter Jessi Alexander and her co-writer Jon Mabe may be two of the briefest Grammy nominees in history: “The Climb” got pulled from the Best Song Written for a Motion Picture race yesterday, after Disney determined that it hadn’t been written specifically for the Miley Cyrus vehicle Hannah Montana: The Movie (as Grammy rules for soundtrack songs require), and withdrew it from the category. Naturally, this came as quite the shock to Alexander, who has been under contract as a Disney songwriter for, as she puts it, “three and a half years that have been really good to me.” We are still awaiting comment from a Disney rep, but in the meantime, we spoke to Alexander about the “gray areas” of the songwriting process, and her questions regarding the technicality that got “The Climb” disqualified.

Entertainment Weekly: I’m assuming you found out earlier than the rest of us that this was happening. Did Disney tell you? Or did the Grammys tell you?
Jessi Alexander: Some of the Disney brand staff members congratulated me about the nomination. So I spent one night on a high. And then the following morning was a new low, when I was told it was gonna be pulled by Disney.

Did they talk to you before they pulled it?
They were in the process of pulling it. And of course, my take was, I understand that there are rules — although I knew nothing about the rules when I found out about the nomination — but let’s at least just tell NARAS where the gray areas are and let them make the decision. But Disney made the decision, and I was just told.

So was the song written specifically for the Hannah Montana movie?
This is the gray area. READ FULL STORY

Ke$ha: A Music Mix Q&A on her Top 5 hit 'Tik Tok,' the origin of her name, and why she's not welcome in Paris Hilton's home

When electro-pop party girl Ke$ha sang on Flo Rida’s number-one smash “Right Round” earlier this year, she “didn’t have enough money to buy a taco.” Things are looking much better for the L.A.-born, Tennessee-raised pop singer these days. Her debut solo single “TiK ToK”—which she co-wrote with Britney/Katy Perry vets Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco—is currently a top-five hit and one of the most recklessly fun dance songs of the year.

We talked to Ke$ha about her alleged foul mouth, her public display of “bladder desperation” at a recent awards show, and what caused her to spew (for real) in Paris Hilton’s closet.

EW: Kesha is your birth name, but I’m guessing the money sign isn’t on your birth certificate. Why did you throw it in?

K: I was on the Flo Rida song “Right Round,” and I was hearing it everywhere, just all over the place. It was number one in a bajillion countries and I didn’t have enough money to buy myself a taco. So I was talking to one of my friends about it and I was like, “What the hell!” I literally had two dollars to my name, and she was like, “Whatever, you don’t need money: You’re money.” And I was like, “Yeah! I’m money!” So it’s really just me taking the piss out of the fact that I was broke while being on a number-one record. It’s actually just being ironic about the whole money thing, because I actually stand for the opposite of putting a lot of emphasis on money.

EW: Would you mind being rich?

K: It’s not at all the reason I’m doing it. I wouldn’t mind it, because it just so happens that if I am a successful musician and I make good records, I might make some money, too, and that’s totally fine. And I love that I don’t have to wait tables, and I’m so appreciative for anything I do earn, but I don’t have to be greedy and gluttonous about the money I’m making.

EW: What inspired the Diddy reference ["Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy"] in “TiK ToK”?

K: I used to live in this sort-of castle in Laurel Canyon. I woke up one morning surrounded by all of my hot babe friends because they had all crashed after a night out. And I woke up surrounded by babes—it was a total babe-fest—and I thought, “This must be what Diddy feels like every morning.” That was the first line of the song, and I took it in and Dr. Luke liked it.

EW: And I hear your family was on The Simple Life? READ FULL STORY

Jared Leto talks new Thirty Seconds to Mars album, 'This Is War': A Music Mix Q&A

It’s a busy week for Jared Leto. The former My-So Called Life actor and his band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, have just released their third album, This Is War, an expansive effort that brings the notion of audience participation to a whole new level: With 2,000 different album covers (each featuring the face of a fan or band buddy) and vocal contributions from Thirty Seconds to Mars followers all over the world, this is most certainly a record made both for and by the people. We caught up with Leto after he and bandmates Shannon Leto (yes relation: brother) and Tomo Miličević landed in L.A. for a couple days of promotion, including a swing by the Tonight Show on Thursday, where they’ll perform “Kings and Queens.” Seems like everybody wants a piece of Leto at the moment, but as he puts it, that’s “good problems.”

Entertainment Weekly: My first question is a technical question. I’m looking at the CD, and the Latin phrase looks like it’s spelled wrong. It reads “Prohevito in Altum,” but in the past, you’ve spelled that as “ProVEHito.”
Jared Leto: Yes. It was a mistake made by our record company. People make mistakes. Maybe we shouldn’t call them out on it.

I want to give you the opportunity to tell us what the new phrase means.
It’s been with us for a while. It means “Launch forth into the deep.” It’s really just a kind of call to arms, a motto.

But that’s the old phrase. What does the new phrase mean?
Oh, I don’t know. The misspelled one?

Yes! Let’s give it a definition.
Oh. I have no idea. The plane probably sucked what little creativity I have in my brain out completely.

READ FULL STORY

Common talks Grammy nominations, teaming with Kanye West and No I.D. for his next album, and more

For some artists, reading their name on the list of Grammy nominees last week was a brand-new experience. Not Common. The Chicago rapper-actor has been a Grammy mainstay this decade, taking home trophies for 2002 (Best R&B Song with Erykah Badu) and 2007 (Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group with Kanye West). This year, he got nods in the categories of Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (for guesting on Kid Cudi’s “Make Her Say”) and Best Rap Album (his own Universal Mind Control). We got Com on the phone to find out how he’s feeling about the Grammy race, plus a status update on his next album, The Believer, and a couple of film projects.

EW: If I’m counting right, you were nominated eleven times before this year. Are you still excited when you get another couple of nominations?
COMMON: Yes, I was still excited to hear about it. It caught me off-guard. I was actually eating dinner with some of my friends in Washington, D.C. I got a text saying “Congratulations,” and I was like, “Congratulations? What’s going on? Did somebody say I’m getting married? Do I have a child out there I don’t know is coming?” [Laughs] So I asked the person — this was someone from my management team — “Congratulations for what?” and she told me, “Congratulations on your Grammy nomination.” Later, she texted me back, “You got two.” So I was very excited.

Do you think you’re going to win those awards?
I mean, I hope to win. I believe I’ve got a good chance.

The other people in the Best Rap Album category are Mos Def, Q-Tip, Flo Rida, and Eminem. How do you feel about the company you have there?
It’s some really talented people nominated. For me to be able to say I’m in the company of Q-Tip and Mos Def and Eminem, just to be in competition with those guys, is really cool for me.

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MGMT singer talks Grammy nominations ('I freaked out!'), new album, and more

Guess who else wasn’t expecting Brooklyn psych-pop act MGMT to receive multiple Grammy nominations on Wednesday night? “I was going to watch the nomination-announcement concert thing just for fun,” MGMT singer Andrew VanWyngarden (pictured, left) tells the Music Mix. “It was a complete surprise. I freaked out!” We chatted with VanWyngarden this afternoon about the band’s Grammy prospects, the new album they plan to release in late spring 2010, and working (or not) with the likes of Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, Paul McCartney, Brian Eno, and avant-garde German film director Werner Herzog.

EW: In the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals category of the Grammys, your song “Kids” is up against artists like the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, and Hall & Oates. Do you think you have a shot at winning?
ANDREW VANWYNGARDEN: My instinct would tell me that Black Eyed Peas will probably sweep everything. Even at the nomination ceremony, every camera shot was Black Eyed Peas; every go-to-commercial music was Black Eyed Peas. They, like, own the Grammys. But maybe some people will want to vote for the underdog or some music that’s a little left of center, as they say. I like how we have a video for “Kids” that’s got these crazy monsters terrorizing a toddler and an animated ending with everything coming out of a woman’s vagina in space. I don’t think the Black Eyed Peas have that going for them.

The other category you’re up for is Best New Artist. You’re probably a little more in touch with the up-and-coming music scene than a lot of Grammy voters—
You’d be surprised.

If you had to pick a Best New Artist, who would it be?
All the bands that I think are “new” aren’t new. It would be cool if a band like Beach House or Grizzly Bear got some recognition. But I don’t know.

READ FULL STORY

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